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tv   Amanpour on PBS  PBS  January 29, 2018 6:00am-6:30am PST

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♪ welcome to "amanpour" on pbs. tonight, trump unveils his america first vision in davos. if he's the most anticipated speaker, the french president is a strong second. which will prevail. we get perspective from both sides of the atlantic with shirl shirl -- shirley coffman. plus, one of the biggest scandals in u.s. horse history. tim evans on being the only journalist to interview the disgraced gymnastic doctor larry nassar. ♪
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"amanpour" on pbs was made possible by the generous support of roslyn p. walter. >> good even, everyone. welcome to the program. i'm christiane amanpour in london with the global perspective. if it wasn't extraordinary enough to see president trump on stage at the heart of the global elite he disdained, their unprecedented trumpet heralding his presence amongst them truly was extraordinary. ♪ >> with that, president trump launched into a fairly conciliatory address at the economic forum in davos, switzerland. he told the gathering he wants to be a team player. >> as president of the united
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states i will always put america first just like the leaders of other countries should put their country first also. but america first does not mean america alone. >> trump added that america is open for business, and he touted the booming u.s. stock market and the reform slashing corporate taxes. davos loves that. earlier the floor belonged to the french president emmanuel macron who urged the west to push back against protectionism and nationalism. >> translator: we are moving back again towards strategies, greater protection, fragmentation of what wtos have done in the past, and -- what globalization has been able to
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achieve. >> so two very different visions competing at the world's globalist gathering, a year after the populist wave take brought donald trump to power. joining me to discuss this is editorial director of france's leading newspaper shirley coffman and from new york richard who is president on council relations and author of "a world in disarray." welcome to you both. let me begin by asking you because i believe you were in the room when president trump spoke. how did the speech go down and was he more friendly than perhaps you might have expected? >> yes, i mean he was reasonably friendly. he didn't get the same reception as other leaders who spoke earlier this week. i think the indian prime minister got a standing ovation. the french president macron did get a standing ovation.
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and president trump did not this afternoon. so i think his speech came across fairly well because, as you said, it was a conciliatory tone. but i mean if you look at the substance -- and i can assure you that here in davos people do look at the substance -- there was nothing new. >> richard hart, did you see anything new or different or a different sort of chapter, engagement with the world? >> the short answer is no. the emphasis on america first, not being america alone wasn't the first time we've heard that. gary cohn and h.r. mcmaster, the national security adviser, put an op-ed in the "wall street journal" more than half a year ago making that argument. it is not terribly persuasive because what the president didn't do was articulate a vision of how the united states would interact with, much less
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lead the world and he ignored a whole lap of issues. what you heard was a speech, a victory lap about the robust strength of the american economy in the wake of deregulation and tax cuts. but i didn't hear a connection between america's economic success and any sense of what our role would be in leading or shaping the world. >> and what did you make of, you know, everybody sort of breathing a sigh of relief that actually a trade war hasn't happened yet, but there are still bits of red meat thrown out in that direction, and there were again today. what did you make of that, richard? >> well, again, the slight cheese, even though he normally describes it as a terrible agreement, he didn't use that word today. he left open a crack that just maybe if things could change enough the united states would
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join it. so he didn't denounce trade as he often has on the campaign trailer in the oval office. there we'll just have to see. again, it was a conciliatory speech as you said. it didn't provoke, but there wasn't really anything in terms of substance. for example, what sorts of changes would the united states need to see to stay in nafta or to reenter tpp? that's the sort of thing i think we need to look for down the road. >> shirley, you were there and i was startled when he indicated as richard just said that maybe there's a window open to rejoining tpp. i mean just a few days ago we saw 11 nations create their own tpp without the united states. >> yes. i think that's one of the main points of his decision to come here, which surprised a lot of people. i think he has a sense that the
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leadership is going away from america and that's not good including for his audience. 11 countries,ou know, agreeing ther and making a rtnersp, you know, a eaty a trade treaty together without the america, okay, america left, no problem. really 11 of us together. that's humiliating in a way. so he keeps the door open, but i don't think that's true actually, but the door is open on his own terms. but if the treaty has changed, then america will join it and that's a strange conception in my view. >> let me ask you to put on your french hat now and talk about your own president. i mean you also wrote this week in "the new york times" what a difference a year makes. this week president trump is coming to davos session, displaying his america first agenda, but he said he will not
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be the only star. president emmanuel macron, who defeated mr. penn, the right winger who mr. trump supported, spoken with a counter model to the west. is it a big enough counter model? >> well, i think what was interesting this week in davos, this afternoon's speech was on wednesday we had a full pack of leaders taking the floor and putting out a common vision of europe and the world, and macron was the last one to speak on wednesday, and america came before him on the same day and prime minister -- italian prime minister also did, and they were all on the same message, europe is back, europe has to be strong. and if they are on the global scene, europe will choose them.
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part of this is -- europe is not just a global actor that macron would like it to be, but that's where you see the two diverging visions. president trump's vision of america first is america retreating to its borders. emmanuel macron's vision and the other european leaders' vision is european expanding. >> can i ask why you think president trump has developed a good relationship with president macron? you have heard he will be the first invitee to a state visit under president trump's administration. how do you account for that, richard? >> clearly president macron has gone out of his way to cultivate that relationship, and i think almost like the prime minister of canada and others he has
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avoided issues that he knows would be difficult. if i could return to something shirley said, europe doesn't have the capacity to play an enormous or large global role. the united states has the capacity. the problem is under donald trump it no longer has the vision, and that's the reason that it is hard to come out of davos or anything else without optimism because i don't see the united states playing its traditional role. i don't see europe or anyone else able to fill its shoes, and that's why it is hard to be optimistic about the evolution of what to expect around the world and over the next three years or for that matter beyond that. >> and just to follow up briefl& with you, how do you account for president macron really trying to draw president trump in? we understand he's the one that convinced president trump to come to davos? he is going to get a state visit, the first state visit to the trump administration. >> i tnk it is very important.
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one, one word can explain this. it is terrorism. i think for emmanuel macron it is of the utmost importance to have a strong relationship with the united states because of the fight against terrorism. now, as you say, he's a very, you know, strong and open guy. i think with trump they have this warm relationship. i don't know how warm it is, but i think it is a fairly good relationship and macron does acknowledge that they have disagreements, that they have -- like on climate, actually on climate change, actually another word that was not -- you know, a different rage of subject. but he has his priorities and i think terrorism is one priority. >> given that, richard hart, and sort of the broader foreign policy and peace making here,
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what was your reaction as a former state department official if nothing else to president trump yesterday essentially basically taking jerusalem off the table, saying that just that's it, goodbye. the most important thing in the israeli/palestinian peace is no longer up for discussion. >> it compounded the problem he began by having a unilateral american declaration of jerusalem as israel's capital. the united states can say it is the capital but saying it doesn't make it so. it is essential to the peace process. it was meant to be dealt with at the end, not the beginning, certainly not in isolation. again, the danger is there won't be a peace process because of this. i think, again, the ability of the united states to play its traditional role because of this policy change i think cast in doubt. cutting off aid to palestinians may be a sanction that makes
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some in the white house feel better, but it is always possible as you know as well as anyone for bad situations to become worse. it may be we are on the verge of seeing the bad situation that is the middle east become even worse. >> and, of course, this from the man who said he wanted to make the deal of the century, and already the palestinians are saying no jerusalem, no peace deals, no americans at the negotiating table. >> again, we put into doubt our own -- about this. it is coming back off previous conversation can, the europeans cannot substitute to the united states. they don't have the sort of relationship with israel. what we've now seen is the emergence of an extraordinarily one-sided american approach to the israeli/palestinian issue. i believe it won't work. it is not just bad for the palestinian. those what want to see israel remain a peaceful, prosperous shift, they have to understand the drift puts that in doubt as well. >> just to go back to you,
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sylvia, on a more european but global problem, do you believe that this year is now seeing the tail end of populism? i think that was the theme at davos as well. >> i don't think -- i think populism is still alive, very much alive, and i think the european leaders are extremely well aware of this. this is both on the american and emmanuel macron addressed this in their speeches this week. they know that this is a big venture in policies, in the world policies. >> sylvia coffman, editorial director, and richard carr, president of the council on foreign relations. thank you for joining me this evening. >> thank you. >> thank you. now, you may have missed president trump taking another dig at the so-called fake news.
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he was booed in the room when he said it. perhaps he was feeling the pressure of the latest allegations that he tried to have the russian special counsel robert mueller fired. of course, president trump denies that. but back in the united states the press is taking a well-deserved victory lap after one newspaper exposed the larry nassar sexual abuse scandal that continued to rock the world of sports. today the u.s. olympic committee is giving the usa gymnastics board an ultimatum, resign or lose your status. his abuse went on in secret for years until the combination of brave women and truth-seeking journalists broke the story wide open. and as the lead prosecutor said during sentencing, thank god we have these journalists and that they exposed the truth. >> the final takeaway is that we as a society need investigative
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journalists more than ever. what finally started this reckoning and ended this decades-long cycle of abuse was investigative reporting. without that first "indianapolis star" story in august 2016. without the story where rachael came forward publicly shortly thereafter, he would still be practicing medicine, treating athletes and abusing kids. >> and with me now is one of those investigative journalists who broke the story. tim evans with the "indianapolis star" ich is part the "usa today" network, he is the only one to have interviewed larry nassar himself and he joins me now. welcome to the program, tim. >> thanks for having me. >> i honestly have to say from the bottom of my heart congratulations. you have done an amazing job for just those people who were so
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victimized, but also holding up what we in the press do. so how did you feel as you listened to the sentencing and you heard the assistant attorney general praise you? >> it is very humbling, a little embarrassing, but, you know, it was really about the amazing thing was giving some voice and helping those women get some justice and also to start their healing. and it is a proud moment for me as a journalist and for journalism as you mentioned with the fake news and the beating the press is taking here in america. it is a reminder there's a lot of good work being done, and not just on the coast. newspapers are investing in investigative journalism and it is a great time. >> that's right. and here you are in the heartland. tell us how it came to you. you pespent about a year and a half doggedly on this story. how did this avalanche, the flood gates start. >> it started off with myself
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and two colleagues investigating sex abuse in gymnastics and the hierarchy of usa gymnastics and how they handled complaints and responses when athletes told them. our first story ran on august 4, 2016, on the eve of the rio oms. that same day we received an e-mail from rachel deny hold ander. she didn't know if we would be interested, it didn't involve coaches but it involved dr. nassar. dr. nassar wasn't even on our radar at that time. we quickly followed up with her and that's how it all got off the ground. >> i just want to play this very, very, you know, affecting piece of her own testimony during the sentencing process. this is rachael denhollander. >> he very meticulously groom me for the purpose of exploiting me
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for his sexual gain. he penetrated me, he groped me, he fondled me and he whispered questions about how it felt. he introduced degrading sex acts without my consent or permission, and larry enjoyed it. larry sought out and took pleasure in little girls and women being sexually injured and violated because he liked it. >> it is still so hard to listen to them. i can see your own face reacting to that. youctually maged to get the only interview with larry nassar. how did that come about? how did he seen talk to you with these allegations that you were presenting him with? >> well, our team kind of divided up the reporting process, and mark and marissa both were dealing with the survivors and my job was to look into the medical aspects of what dr. nassar was accused of doing and reach out for an interview.
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it is one of those things, i sent an e-mail, i didn't expect a response but i got to work the next morning and i had two e-mails from dr. nassar. the first one said he was sorry the women had misinterpreted his medical procedures and he would like to meet with me the following morning. about an hour later i got another e-mail from him that said his wife urged him to talk to his lawyer first. i responded to that one, and a little later his lawyer called me and he wanted to know about the allegations we had and also wanted to talk about setting up a meeting, an interview. >> and what did he say when you presented him with these allegations? >> well, initially the attorney spoke on dr. nassar's behalf initially and he denied the allegations. that attorney left dr. nassar not long after our interview, and i don't believe he knew the whole story. i think his denial was based on dr. nassar's story to him. about four days later i drove to grand rapids, michigan from
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indianapolis and met with dr. attorney's office in grand the rapids. we were together for about 30 to 45 minutes. as interviews go, it wasn't that productive for us but it was interesting in looking back now, surreal. >> and you scribbled h-- described him as arrogant and you described him when faced with a question he would stammer, the kind of non-verbal cues i look for during contentious interviews. >> yeah, it was very interesting because there were two kind of dr. nassars there. when he was in control, directing the narrative he was very confident, he was arrogant, to the point that laymen couldn't understand the nuances of his medical procedures. and he actually -- before we started the on-the-record interview he wanted to show me videos of him performing what he said was the procedure that was misunderstood on young girls. the video was -- you know, it
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made me uncomfortable to watch him. he had a young girl laying prone on a table and he was massaging the buttocks, he was working his hand down deep into her crotch. that particular video did not show any penetration and i think that's what he was hoping i would come away believing, that you could can see why these girls might misunderstand, you know, was kind of his pitch. i have to get in there close, but, you know, i would never penetrate them. >> and then, of course, it tund out -- turned out in fact that's what he was doing. you received a huge ton of pressure to stop your reporting, right? who were the people trying to stop you? what was their defense? >> well, it was amazing. you know, we had a high bar. once we found out about dr. nassar we did a background on him. we couldn't find any criminal history. we couldn't find any medical complaints. we couldn't find any lawsuits, no malpractice history. people in the gymnastics
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community which is very close said he's untouchable, you will never get him, and he also had a legion of supporters, you know. even after we exposed his time, we were beaten up for weeks and months in e-mails and phone calls, accused of making things up to sell newspapers, that we were misunderstanding and smearing this man and his family. and the tide didn't turn until the fbi got to his house and found 37,000 images of child pornography. at that point his support started to dwindle. >> what kept you going? was there ever a moment when you, the editors, the senior staff of the paper thought, well, are we on the right path here? >> well, there is great concern as in any kind of investigation but, again, we were looking at a man who was an icon, kind of a god in the sport. he was a medical professional. we were very worried that somehow this would get twisted into a debate over medical procedures and medical terminology, and that the real
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root of the story, the sexual abuse of these young women, would get lost in some arcane debate about medical procedures. that was a high bar, and we really worked hard to get to that point. we felt so confident though in the stories of the young women who had come to us. rachael denhollander had her medical records. she had all kinds of documents so, you know, again we came off feeling very good about her. also i had spoken to medical professionals, and there were many things about dr. nassar's performance of the procedure that were far, far outside of a standard procedure. he didn't wear gloves. he didn't use lubricant. he didn't tell the young ladies in advance he would be penetratinghem. often he didn't have an adult in the room when he had minor in there. all of these things are outside of a general practice. going into the interview with him i had a good handle with what he was doing, how he was performing and how it didn't fit with medical procedures. >> it is amazing you and your team actually listened to these
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women who had been trying, these young girls, to raise the alarm for so long and it got to this point and the man is behind bars for the rest of his life. as the judge said, "i have signed your death warrant." what do you think, just reflect on fake news when you realize what you have done for the truth? >> well, i think it is easy for people -- we're so divided here in america. if you read something you don't agree with, it suddenly becomes fake news. also the newspaper industry is -- in america there are fewer journalists. the investigative reporting, the thing that brought me into journalism, growing up in the watergate era, there's still a value in it. this just shows we can make a difference. you know, the most rewarding thing of the whole experience was to see those women have a voice in court, the see them start to heal.
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people hadn't listened to them, people hadn't believed them. the fact we were willing to listen and they were willing to share their stories with strangers, with an old white guy, telling me their worst secrets in the world, i think it is a tribute to what we can do if we do journalism right. >> tim evans, real journalism. congratulations to you and your team and thank you for being with us. and that's it for our program tonight. thank you for watching "amanpour" on pbs, and join us again next time. ♪ "amanpour" on pbs was made possible by the generous support of roslyn p. walter. ♪ you're watching pbs.
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